I found out today that Don Dohler passed away on December 2nd. Once upon a time, I was a teenager back in the 1970's. As it was, I had a steady girlfriend that had an older sister who had some friends that needed someone to watch their kids occasionally. As it was, we both took on the task of "babysitting". As it was, the father of those kids was Don Dohler. I remember him well. Dohler was not just an average guy. He had special interests. I remember him showing me his 8mm movies that he made. He would do all sorts of special effects with his film.......such as making a ufo flit around in the background...etc....etc. He had my ear because I had been working at a movie theater and I was very interested in movies and how they were made. He liked the same stuff I did, and he knew some of the people that I knew as well. I remember being amazed when he showed me two of his magazines about filmaking. Magazines! He was a talented dude............and he had his own magazines......wow! I remember speaking with him at length about Ray Harryhausen, the filmmaker. He was quite a guy and he made a big impression on me. I remember that he had been working on a larger film project and he had the determination to see it through......as tough as it is to do.
That movie was "Alien Factor". Dohler went on to make several low-budget horror/alien/B-movies and made his mark in Maryland motion picture history. While he did not have the fame as say.....John Waters......after all is said and done, he will always be remembered here.
A few months ago, I sent an e-mail to Don Dohler at his job as editor of a local newspaper. I mentioned the 'babysitting" and his early stages of his magazines and films. I wanted to let him know that along my own path in life, that he had been remembered fondly and had made a good impression on me. I had no idea of his health status. As it was, Don replied to that e-mail of mine and he was very gracious. Time had put a blur on the "babysitting" memory for him. Still, he took the time from his busy day to acknowledge me and thank me. That was Don.
Don Dohler passed away from cancer. He was 60 years old. The monster claimed the guy that could make monsters on film.....go figure. I am sure that his children are proud of their dad.
On a brighter note...............my wife, Clara Barton, brought home from work, a tin full of cruschikis. Her best friend and nurse, Florence Nightingale II, made them for us. Of course, we ain't gonna touch them until Christmas Eve........hehehehe......yeah, right!